So if anyone has bothered to read this blog over the last few years, you’ll know that I publish an annual list called 13 hot French entrepreneurs under 30. Some of the names who made the list in 2010 include the founders of hot French startups like Deezer, MediaStay, Spartoo, MyMajorCompany, Leetchi, Restopolitan and more. And last year’s list included similar startup stars, like the founders of JolieBox, Owlient, Jimmy Fairly, L’Usine à Design and more.
Read More Seeking: talented French entrepreneurs under 30 for recognition
A while back I wrote a post on how the French educational system isn’t exactly entrepreneur friendly. And this is just based off of my simple observations and personal experience at a French university. Now that I have attended university in the US, France and the UK, I can say with complete certainty that French professors are by far the harshest with their students when it comes to mistakes. One would think that they get joy out of making their students look ridiculous – even when they make the smallest of errors. I’ve even heard some “feedback” from professors that could make one borderline suicidal. Not exactly what I would call educationally encouraging…
Read More France is Putting the “F” into “Failure”
I get lots of local entrepreneurs contacting me, wondering who exactly in France has money in the bank. So just like with the Le Best of French Blogs post that I wrote-up a while ago, it’s perhaps time for a French A-list (or angel-list). Well, here it is kids. These are some names (in no particular order) that I’d want to be talking to if I was looking to fund my company in France. Obviously, some of these people are also behind funds like ISAI, Jaina and Kima but that doesn’t mean they don’t also invest à titre personnel.
Read More The French A-list
A while ago, I bought a netbook – a Sony Vaio, to be specific (mainly for price, removable battery, size and pixel reasons as a traveling blogger). I tweeted my purchase, not really expecting anyone to care all that much. It was more just to pass time as I waited in line at the FNAC. But turns out quite a few people did care. Perhaps there are also people that also care that I use Jolicloud as my netbook OS (virtual hi-five to Tariq), have a Nikon Coolpix digital camera, that I don’t own an iPad (yet) or an iPhone4 and that I have actually purchased songs off of iTunes – sad, but true.
Now, maybe you’re wondering what apps I have on my iPhone?
So here are the stats: I currently have some 108 applications on my iPhone and I delete and download rather regularly. I prefer not to pay for the app unless it’s really something special – which means yes, I have purchased apps. The most expensive app I have ever bought is probably in the €4.99 range.
Back to basics.
I’ve got a number of apps for news in English and French, including The New York Times, Le Monde, Les Echos, Challenges, NPR News, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, etc. Then I’ve naturally got to keep up with my tech blogs in French and English, which means I’ve also got a few names like TechCrunch (naturally), VentureBeat, Presse Citron, Korben, Journal du Net, Journal du Geek, Guy Kawasaki, etc. And then I’ve got Facebook, Linkedin, Skype and Yammer (to communicate with the TechCrunch gang – by the way, I just adore Yammer). I recently added Viadeo, even though I’m not particuarly active on that network, because it is hard to tell whether Linkedin or Viadeo is the network of preference for the French scene.
Read More I’ll Show You My iPhone Apps If You Show Me Yours…
I’ve been wanting to do a post on this topic for a while – because whenever someone tells me that it’s insanely difficult to launch a start-up in France, I chuckle to myself and think: “Hey, if 20-something-year-olds are doing it fresh out of school, it can’t be that hard, right?” I also have recently noticed that becoming an entrepreneur from a young age is becoming more à la mode – so here is my list to set the record straight.
Hot or not?
The trouble is there are actually a lot of young entrepreneurs out there. This list is insanely far from exhaustive and is just a few names that I think are likely to stick around for a while. As the entrepreneurial community is predominantly male, I should also probably clarify that by “hot” I am referring strictly to their start-ups. After all, this is not my attempt to be the Franco-version of Valleywag. PS. You’ll notice that I’ve chosen 8 companies and 13 names.
Read More 13 hot French entrepreneurs under 30
Ah, I should say best of French start-ups on DailyMotion, shouldn’t I? Truth is, I wanted to use DailyMotion videos but a lot of the content wasn’t on their site. Tsk tsk French start-ups for not supporting each others’ businesses! Then again, in this Google-dominated internet world, who can really blame them.
I just thought I’d do a quick post on 5 of my favorite YouTube videos from French start-ups.
This is hands down my favorite French start-up video on YouTube. It tells the story of Deezer’s creation, the legal obstacles they had to overcome with music on the internet. Great music, great story, great animation.
Read More Best of French Start-ups on YouTube
The French for some reason get a lot of crap about their English. Ok, it’s got a little ring to it but that’s not really anything to write home about.
Accents are charming. Period.
What’s not charming, however, is limited market reach – which you unfortunately get if you’re going to limit yourself to a non-English language. I can’t even count the number of times I have discussed the topic – if you want to go global in today’s world, you kind of have to speak English, too. Duh.
I actually think that French start-ups understand that they need to be bilingual. France has made remarkable progress, linguistically – and the TechCrunch Paris event that was held entirely in English last week goes to prove it. Plus, I think I’ve brought up before that there are numerous local start-ups, like Silentale, that don’t even have French on their websites.
I still, however, stand by Deezer’s French Twitter account – which was attacked by Robert Scoble last year at LeWeb. Seriously, would Deezer have 11 million users if their Twitter didn’t address the local population? Don’t think so. I sound like a broken record…
Read More Pardon my French
Far from anything being discussed at SXSW, this is a quick post on something I just noticed: There are a lot of French start-ups that are MIA on Wikipedia. Obviously it’d be great to develop some kind of French start-up database, but let’s first concentrate on the basics: Wikipedia. Yeah, so? Hopefully I don’t need […]
Read More The French Start-up Wikipedia Initiative
Somehow, the conversation always ends up on which Silicon Valley companies are MIA in France. A week or two ago, Deezer’s Jonathan Benassaya posted this comment on Twitter: Opentable actually launched in France in 2008 and ironically their product didn’t take off – so I am told. French restaurants were too traditional to go electronic […]
Read More Under the radar: Are some French companies hiding?
Paul Carr published an article in TechCrunch a few days ago and naturally the title caught my eye: Cherchez la fame – or why the media’s obsession with Twitter campaigns will make customer service smell French. A word on smelling French. What I think is a little ironic in this article is that “smelling French” […]
Read More Smelling French: Not Such a Bad Thing